Your press release is your chance to convey to journalists what your show is about, why it’s exciting and why it is unique enough to warrant a visit. Be original, short, snappy and to the point and use the advice and ideas offered below. Press releases can be broken down into distinct types:
A standard press release – your unique who, what, when, where, how and why message to the press.
A news release – sent out when something newsworthy happens
g. stolen costumes lead to nude Hamlet, actors marry at Fringe etc.).
The following guidelines apply to both types.
The press release should be clear but distinctive, conveying a tantalising and useful amount of information in the shortest space possible. The headline should capture attention immediately and convey the most newsworthy element of your show.
Make sure you include the who, what, when and where as well as contact names and telephone numbers for your press representative (including your Edinburgh details so that journalists can make contact with you during the Fringe).
Aside from the bare facts, you will need to sell your show with good copy that will inspire editors to sit up and take notice. No one can tell you what to write
only you know the unique selling points of your show.
famous names involved with the show in some way.
whether you are the largest/youngest/oldest etc. company on the Fringe
links your show has to current affairs.
brief quotes from previous reviews or features.
names of the members of the company − a reviewer may wish to credit
one of the team.
theatrical jargon – the information is ultimately for the consumption of the general public.
cramming the release with largely irrelevant details (e.g. schedules, cast lists, biographies etc.). This information can be sent later if requested .
Journalists are likely only to read the first few lines of your press release, so make sure you put the main selling point of your show in the headline and opening line.
Keep your press release to one page of A4 − any more is too much information.
There are several additional items you can include alongside your release. You don’t need to send these out with your initial emailings, but it’s a good idea to have them available if journalists request further information on your show. Firstly, it’s worth mentioning anything that will boost your credibility as a company or performer, for example, excerpts from good reviews on your press release alongside star ratings if they’re good. Secondly, a brief history of your company mentioning past performances. If you want to include biographies, keep it to a maximum of several sentences about each person involved in the production.
THE FRINGE GUIDE TO SELLING A SHOW FRINGE PUBLICITY